Thursday, August 06, 2020

ExxonMobil gives govt deadline over land for new factory

Sep 24. 2019
Photo credit: Industry Ministry's website
Photo credit: Industry Ministry's website
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By The Nation

Esso (Thailand) chairman Jeremy Robert Osterstock met with Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit on Monday to discuss reclaiming land for a Bt300-billion petrochemical factory in Chonburi.

ExxonMobil plans to set up the new factory on the site on condition that it is within a radius of 5 kilometres from the company’s oil refinery in Sriracha. If the Thai government cannot find 1,000 rai for the expansion project by this year, Esso is likely to invest instead in China or Vietnam.

The company said it aims to revise its global investment plans at the beginning of 2020. And if Thai officials don’t have a clear policy of reclaiming the land near the Esso port, the company will have to decide to move to a new country, it added.

Under the deadline set by Exxon, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand – which is responsible for inspecting land reclamation in such areas – employed the Petroleum Institute of Thailand to conduct a study at the beginning of September on the possibility of reclaiming the land. However, it appears the study will not be completed on time as it is expected to take six months, excluding the time needed to write an Environmental and Health Impact Assessment report.

Moreover, Esso’s oil refinery surroundings are crowded, making it hard to find such a large area to meet Exxon’s demand.

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